SANTA FE ― Today, the New Mexico Department of Transportation announced the kick off to the National Click It or Ticket seatbelt crackdown, which runs through June 3.
Additionally today, New Mexico law enforcement agencies will partner with agencies across the nation for a one-day national seat belt awareness event – called Border to Border (B2B).
“It’s important that we remind people that just putting on their seatbelt could save their life,” NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Tom Church said. “At NMDOT we are always trying to save lives on the roads and highways – this is one way everyone can make our roads safer.”
In 2016, 147 lives were lost in crashes on New Mexico roads to people who chose not to wear a seatbelt. People who choose to wear their seatbelt are more likely to survive crashes. In fact, 13 percent of unbelted occupants in passenger vehicles were killed in 2016, compared to only 0.1 percent of belted occupants.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 56 percent. That’s why one focuses of this year’s B2B and Click It or Ticket campaigns is nighttime enforcement. The B2B kickoff will include a four-hour enforcement crackdown from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 21 – focusing on nighttime hours when seatbelt use is at its lowest.
“The New Mexico State Police is dedicated to keeping each and every motorist on our highways safe. If you are stopped, you will be ticketed. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, always buckle your seatbelt,” New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said.
“We must continue to remind drivers and passengers that seat belts save lives,” NMDOT Traffic Safety Director Franklin Garcia said. “Wearing a seat belt is the number one thing anyone can do to help prevent death or injury during a vehicle crash.”
The B2B program is also a successful study in collaboration between local law enforcement offices. During the nationwide 2017 B2B program, participating law enforcement offices issued citations for 5,695 seat belt and child car seat violations, as well as 14,619 citations for other traffic infractions. This, in turn, reminded drivers to drive safer.